STANVILLE – Floyd County attorney Eric C. Conn was arrested Monday after he was indicted by a federal grand jury on multiple charges which have impacted more than 1,500 people. Conn entered a not guilty plea on all charges on Tuesday and was scheduled to appear in federal court for his detention hearing in Lexington on Thursday afternoon.
“I don’t really know how to feel about this situation,” said Bill Stone, of Grethel. “I am a retired and disabled welder and I was one of the clients to receive a letter from the Social Security Administration to redetermine my disability benefits. I have had two back surgeries and I know I am unable to perform at the same level I was just two years ago. I just hope the Social Security Administration will actually determine the ones who really deserve benefits from the ones who are scamming the government.”
Conn, who was at the center of an investigation over disability benefits, remained in custody after a court hearing Thursday. The 18 count indictment also charges a licensed clinical psychologist and Dr. Alfred Bradley Adkins, a licensed clinical psychologist. Investigators obtained arrest warrants for Daugherty who is said to be living in South Carolina and Dr. Adkins. It is unknown at this time if Daugherty is in federal custody. Adkins was arrested and released on bond. Conn, who is in the custody of U.S. Marshals was in federal court in Lexington Thursday, April 7 remains in custody. Federal attorneys believe Conn is a flight risk because he has made remarks to individuals that he would not go to jail, he would go to Cuba or Ecuador.
In the indictment Conn, Daugherty, and Adkins are charged with one count each of Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud and Wire Fraud, three counts each of Mail Fraud, and three counts each of Wire Fraud.
Conn is also charged with Conspiracy to Retaliate against a Witness, Victim or Informant, Destruction of Records, Documents or Tangible Objects in a Federal Investigation, False Statements, Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments, four counts of Transactional Money Laundering, and Conspiracy to Structure Currency Transactions Involving a Financial Institution for the purpose of Evading the Report Requirements. Daugherty is also charged with Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instrument. Adkins is charged with making False Statements.
In total, the indictment alleges that Conn, Adkins, and Daugherty along with other co-conspirators sought more than $600 million in disability benefits from the SSA, regardless if the applicant was actually eligible.
Court documents say the men worked together to retroactively pay disability benefits to multiple clients and those people continued receiving Medicare and Medicaid benefits. Adkins and multiple unindicted co-conspirators performed physical and mental evaluations on clients and prepared or signed evaluations indication that the clients had disabilities. Conn paid the unindicted co-conspirators between $300 and $450 per evaluation.
Adkins is out on bond on conditions he must surrender all firearms from his home and continually show up for court. Dr. Adkins is not currently practicing because his license have been suspended. A pre-trial hearing in the case is set for May 18, and the trial date is June 7. The trial is expected to take four to six weeks. The indictment also describes three additional co-conspirators, but their names have not been released at this time because they have not been indicted.
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for the Floyd County Times. She can be reached at 606/886-8506.